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HIT THE SIGN AND WIN A FREE SUIT OF CLOTHES FROM HARRY FINKLESTEIN by Bert Randolph Sugar

HIT THE SIGN AND WIN A FREE SUIT OF CLOTHES FROM HARRY FINKLESTEIN

By

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 1978
Publisher: Contemporary Books

This episodic survey never comes to grips with the author's thesis: that professional sport has lost its innocence due to the ties between Big Business, franchised teams, and superstar players. Nor is the subject particularly fresh. The New York Times' Joe Durso (The All-American Dollar, 1971) and the Brookings Institution (Government in the Sport Business, 1974), among others, have made better cases against commercialism and exploitation in pro sports. And Sugar's tame revelations will come as no great surprise even to casual fans. He reviews the history of America's major professional team sports--baseball, football, basketball, and hockey--as well as relative newcomers like soccer and tennis. He also tackles championship prize fights, horse racing, and golf. Along the way, some great stories are revived--like the 1951 day Bill Veeck, then owner of the St. Louis Browns, sent a midget to bat against the Detroit Tigers and the financial shenanigans behind the 1974 Mohammed Ali-George Foreman ""Rumble in the Jungle."" But there is little in the way of new information on the fine art of hype or the marketing sin of overexpansion. Sugar, moreover, laces his text with leaden, locker-room humor (""caught in his own mental underwear,"" ""one of Perenchio's promotional wet dreams,"" ""in the grab-ass world of boxing"") that subs for the light touch. The score: twice-told tales that add up to an unnecessary exercise.